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Benefits of weight watching in the workplace

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Are you dieting to lose weight? Or following a prescribed plan to manage diabetes, high blood pressure or other medical condition? Maybe you're not trying to lose weight or trying to follow any kind of diet at all, but you just want to eat healthier and stay at your current weight without any gain in pounds or inches?

Regardless of where you're at, watching your weight at the workplace could benefit you in ways that help keep you motivated along your path to success.

Whatever your reason for watching your weight, you need to be motivated to give up old, unhealthy habits that don't die easily. What you do while on the job could ultimately help you achieve your goal or hinder you, taking you further down a path of failed attempts until you decide you just can’t succeed and quit trying anymore.

The success of any weight watching goal depends on developing a healthy relationship with food, at home and in personal life as well as at the workplace. However, as with all important relationships, this process doesn’t happen overnight or quickly, especially if the unhealthy habits have been practiced for years or individuals know they need to lose weight or keep from gaining weight but aren’t really motivated to do so.

Watching your weight at the workplace has many benefits that can help you to reach your goal sooner rather than later, sustain much needed motivation, and promote a healthier lifestyle.

Many people spend long hours at their jobs. Some may work from locations in large or small companies while others work from living rooms or home offices. Temptations to indulge as well as overeat can be as far away as the employee cafeteria on another floor or as near as the refrigerator in the next room or the candy in one’s desk drawer.

There may also be any number of opportunities to find excuses for indulging in favorite and more convenient but less healthy foods. Some of these opportunities come with the donuts and muffins that are shared at the daily break or weekly meeting. Others can be found in the vending machines that offer quick pick-me-ups during the work day, and still others come with the baked goods and other treats that are shared on holidays, at office parties, and in celebration of special events such as the birthday or retirement of a boss or coworker.

Too often, however, consuming such fattening, as well as sugary and salty foods, can lead to faulty nutrition, overindulgence and weight gain.

The development of a healthy relationship to food is essential for effective weight loss and lifetime weight management. This includes adopting healthy attitudes that take into account the imperfections of human behavior and discourage the use of food for emotional reasons and to alleviate stress.

This means consuming food for the purpose of nurturing the body and keeping it healthy, certainly not a unique idea but one that seems so simple and yet gets too little focus, especially considering the epidemic of obesity that continues to exist in the in the United States today.

It is very beneficial to become much more conscious of the food you put in your mouth at the workplace and be honest with yourself about how much of it is consumed for the purpose of good nutrition and how much for other reasons. Then find ways to change your eating behavior and stick to what works for you.

Also, keep in mind that you will not gain weight by eating a cookie at break one morning or by visiting the vending machine for a candy bar one day when you feel very tired and overwhelmed. An essential component of effective weight loss and weight management is self-control—not perfectionism.

It is not realistic to think that you will be able to keep weight off for the rest of your life by never having a rich or fattening food. It is also not realistic to think you can avoid weight gain by turning to food to cope with feeling exhausted or anxious.

There are ways to increase self-control and reduce risks of overeating, including slowing down when eating and taking time to really chew and taste your food. In the case of eating the cookie at break, the employee could have brought a healthier snack to eat or had a healthy breakfast before leaving for work to reduce any feelings of hunger that might result in eating more cookies.

With regard to the vending machine visit, while the above or other options could be used, the employee would benefit by creating options to better deal with his or her feelings than using food.

Weight watching at the workplace can support efforts simultaneously undertaken at home and in personal life. Efforts can also start at the workplace and then spread to home and personal life. But in either case, where one works can serve as an effective place to adopt new eating habits and promote other healthy benefits as well.

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